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Old 08-22-2017, 09:54 AM   #1
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Maybe I'm over reacting

Coming home from Raystown Lake yesterday we decided to go look at the camper we wanted to buy at Ansley RV in PA. Google maps sent us up rt. 64 to Martinsburg as the shortest route up over a mountain, no big deal I thought been there done that……...until……. as we start up my foot on the pedal is all most on the floor and the truck had not shifted out of 2nd gear of the 350 diesel, Scan Gauge says temps are climbing fast. Then I realized his sucker is really really steep going up and that means it`s going to be REALLY REALLY steep going down Then I heard a crash, told the wife to turn around and see what that was she said it looks like the water tank we keep in the front of the bed had slid to the back of the bed around the fifth wheel hitch and was wedged up under the front of the fifth wheel……. That was it for me, told the wife to scan the maps app for turn around spot before we get to the top…….. she says there isn`t any just a marked pull off area. We get to the pull off and it`s not deep enough to make a U turn, so we are committed to going down the back side. Then there is the sign just before we crest the top it says 10% grade next 3 miles next sign says truck speed limit 20 MPH……. Then the next sign says you can kiss your butt goodbye if you don`t have really good brakes and don`t smoke them. Then right at the top the sign just says…. MOMMA!…...Just kidding on the last 2. Anyway we crest the top and look down the road going down the mountain and I'm thinking how did they lay the asphalt and get it to stay in place and not start sliding.
We made it to the bottom crawling along at 15 to 20 MPH pumping the brakes all the way every time I took my foot off the brakes we immediately started to pick up speed, the wife says “never again” and I agree, a little to intense for me. I did a little research when I got home and found that this particular mountain has one of the steepest grades in the county for daily travel. It is not marked as such on any average travel map that I know of and is just flat scary going down with a big fifth wheel pushing you.
I guess my point is why aren't there warnings on the maps of extreme grades or atleast signs warning you of what's ahead before you can't turn around. I would have turned around at a sign that said 10% grade ahead because 7% is bad enough and my personal limit. I always thought the West coast would have the worst mountain grades so I never really thought about it but apparently the East coast and particularly Pennsylvania is on top. Maybe trucking maps would have something.
I would like to know what other people have experienced on this subject, what`s your limit? and if you have ever gotten your self into a scary drive. What to avoid if you live on the East coast. I can still see looking down the mountain right at the crest thinking, I don`t believe I`m going to do this.
Maybe I`m over reacting.

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Old 08-22-2017, 10:15 AM   #2
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This is what you are looking for.
Mountain Directory for Truckers, RV, and Motorhome Drivers

Noel, Betty, one fuzzy little poodle that thinks he is a standard
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:18 AM   #3
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Sounds like an interesting time, it's good you survived it.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:19 AM   #4
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Well, you did it and you did it safely. It was probably good you did it with trepidation. That is better than being over confident.

7% is steep enough for me but have done more when it's called for. Sometimes there is no other good choice.

I have heard if this atlas (and they also have an app) but do not have one.

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Old 08-22-2017, 10:20 AM   #5
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I purchased a RV gps that I enter my rig information into the data base and it routes me according to my size. I stopped using a phone gps for the very reason you mentioned.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:52 AM   #6
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Apparently it can be done, as you said! It is white knuckle driving for sure and i agree, would be nice to be forwarned to allow for choices!
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:00 AM   #7
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That reminds me. Did that ma ny moons ago on a 7% grade i had no knowledge of in my Conversion Van Towing 30' trailer. Was Happy to be around and replace, brake pads, rotors and fluid!
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:05 AM   #8
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I try to avoid twisty-turnnie roads while dragging my trailer. I'll hold those for riding my motorcycle or driving the truck alone. Here in East Tennessee we have a road called The Dragon. US129 from Vonor to Deals Gap. The top 11 miles of it contains 314 turns and an elevation gain of about 2,000 feet. It is also one of the most heavily traveled motorcycle/sports car roads in North America. DO NOT, under any circumstance, take an RV rig up or down this highway. Please! Every year someone try's it and has to be rescued. When traveling it in your towed or truck, maintain your lane. This year alone the Dragon has claimed three lives, so far.
John Price
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:11 PM   #9
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That would scare the crap out of me, so glad you are safe. That is in my area, and I know that's not an RV worthy road. It is treacherous.

How did you do at Ansley? We have purchased 2 units from them, our fiver and our current MH.
Lynn & Andy Dudish
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:55 PM   #10
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West Virginia has some doozies like that going into and out of the ski areas. Try and drive up and down a two lane twisty road with sheer drop offs when it's snowing. We followed a snow plow truck once going up. Sharon looked out the door window and said the windrow from the snow plow truck was as high as the bottom of the window! We were in a 37 foot motorhome towing a Chrysler Town and Country.

You asked about steepness limit? I figure if a they built it, I can make it. The Rocky Mountains has some really steep places also. Once we had to unhook the toad because the rear wheels of the motorhome were slipping on the gravel road as we climbed several thousands of feet. But the view from the campground on top of the mountain were stupendous!

About the only things that bother us is a low weight limit bridges and or low height bridges.

You asked if you were over reacting? Not at all. You know your limits experiences and comfort zone. When the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, you are not over reacting at all. You are just using common sense.
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tande12506 View Post
I purchased a RV gps that I enter my rig information into the data base and it routes me according to my size. I stopped using a phone gps for the very reason you mentioned.
Also, If given a choice, use fastest route, not shortest.

Reno, Nv
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:36 PM   #12
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You may want to avoid Highway 4 that takes you to the west coast of Vancouver Island. There's a stretch of 18%
Ben & Sharon
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:39 PM   #13
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I feel your pain.

We drove from Yellowstone to Billings Mt, driving over Bear Tooth Pass. This was in late June 2009, the road was closed the week before for snow.

What a drive, hair pin turns up and down. When we got to the top we stopped to take pictures, a man walked up to me and asked about my coach. I told him it was a 38' Monaco, he said he had one of similar size parked at his house and would never ever consider driving it up across the pass.

My wife took +40 pictures going up, only 3 going down hanging on to her seat so she wouldn't slide out and cursing me all the way down (mumbling something about haunting me if she or the dogs were injured).
Jim J
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:32 PM   #14
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Heck you had me puckering up just sitting here. You tell a good story.

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